The body of a U.S. Marine’s wife who went missing in June has been found 140 feet down in a mine shaft near Joshua Tree National Park, and her former neighbor has been arrested in connection with her death, authorities announced Monday.
Cpl. Christopher Brandon Lee, a former next door neighbor who is suspected of having had an affair with Erin Corwin, 19, was arrested by federal authorities on Sunday in Anchorage, more than a month after Corwin went missing June 28.
San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials said prosecutors would be making a decision on what charges to file within the next 48 hours.
Lee had reportedly planned to take Corwin on a hunting trip the same day she disappeared.
“We certainly believed in the beginning her disappearance was suspicious,” San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said.
Authorities on Monday said they are also working to verify whether Corwin was pregnant at the time of her death.
More arrests could result from the ongoing investigation, McMahon added.
The last major development in the search for Corwin was reported on June 30, when authorities found her car abandoned a couple of minutes away from her home. Near her car, detectives found a shoe print and a set of tire marks, which they said matched those on Lee’s vehicle, according to the warrant.
Corwin had planned to search the park for areas to visit when her mother came into town to celebrate Corwin’s 20th birthday, which was July 15. But when she did not return, her husband, Lance Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, reported her missing the following day.
Her cellphone has been either dead or turned off since that time, according to her family’s Facebook page.